The series provides a fascinating insight into what life is like for 13 Western Australians living with a disability and looks to break down stereotypes and stigmas related to conditions including Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Parkinson’s Disease, acquired brain injuries, intellectual disabilities, spinal cord injuries and autism.
The 13 storytellers featured in the series were selected as they have all achieved greatness in their respective passions of Sport, Employment and their ability to Disable the Label.
The Different Lens initiative was created in partnership by Screenwest and Carers WA to offer screen skills development opportunities for Western Australian disability diverse screen practitioners, produce local disability-led content, build capacity within the local screen sector to be more inclusive and promote visibility of disability diverse onscreen talent.
Rhythm Content was provided with a $50,000 production grant to produce the series and provide mentoring to four emerging filmmakers with lived experience of disability.
Founders Adam and Gemma Rule handpicked a talented cohort of filmmakers to act as mentors for the initiative including Lauren Elliott, Frank Carroll, Justin Griffiths, John McGovarin, Richard Hubbard, Clare Toonen, Brianna Trinidad, Dave Walters, Joe Wilkie and Justin Braine.
Emerging filmmakers Rafael Gonzales, Mitchell Nock, Joe Teakle and David Thai came on board as crew attachments to develop their skills across writing, directing, cinematography, editing and sound and grow their career potential in the industry.
Curtis had a motorbike accident at the age of 16, acquiring a brain and spinal injury as a result of not wearing a helmet. He subsequently established Mad-Orse Industries, an action sports clothing brand that promotes the wearing of safety gear.
43-year-old Eleana Bredemeyer discusses her favourite activities – going out and meeting new people. She takes us on a tour of one of her favourite spots, the Minderoo Garden, which is a shared community space filled with plants and artworks.
Josef Bandera, a 22 year-old from Bunbury, helped established WA iSports, an inclusive sporting club in the south west, with the aim of giving both young and older folk the opportunity to be part of a supportive and encouraging community group.
40-year-old theatre practitioner Julia Hales introduces herself and her soldout play You Know We Belong Together, which she hopes has inspired people with Down syndrome.
Katrina and Julianne are art collaborators. The two women were granted a workspace in Fremantle where they believe they have the facilities and support to start doing some big things.
Born with ataxic cerebral palsy, Madison was told she would never walk – let alone run – but took her first step when she was four years old. Madison now trains with a supportive athletics team and expresses her desire to one day make it to the Paralympics.
Malcolm Anderson, a 54-year-old from Mandurah, introduces us to dragon boating, a water sport involving a long boat paddled by a large crew.
27-year-old Matthew Bartels introduces us to his workplace – he works for WA Minister David Kelly at the Department of Premier and Cabinet.
Nang Nguyen, a 35-year-old from Mandurah, discusses his upbringing and polio diagnosis in Vietnam. When Nang moved to Australia he excelled in powerlifting, lifting more than his body weight.
Mandurah woman Sue Edge explains how it felt like her world had ended following a Parkinson’s diagnosis a decade ago at age 51. Sue discovered the positive physical and mental effects of boxing on Parkinson’s symptoms.
Tayla Stone, a 26-year-old from Mandurah, discusses the love that she, her partner and their small children have for the outdoors and how their favourite activity is spending time in nature.